Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the Red Line: Old School - In the Best Sense of That Term

When I walked towards the Red Line station in Wollaston this morning, the weather was "New England brisk" - the mercury hovering somewhere in the teens. As I was waiting for the train that would carry me to my office in Kendall Square, I found myself standing beside a distinguished looking gentleman whom I immediately recognized as Francis X. Bellotti, former Lt. Governor and Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and father of Norfolk County Sheriff, Michael Bellotti. The venerable statesman was attired in a very stylish suede blazer - with no outer garment to keep him warm. He seemed quite comfortable - someone who has lived here in Boston long enough to be inured to the vagaries of our winter weather. Attorney Bellotti was heading to his office at the law firm of Mintz, Levin, et al. While riding the train, he was engrossed in a novel. We have spoken before, so it was easy to pick up the thread of conversation.

"I recently met one of your sons."

"Which one? I have five sons and seven daughters!"

"Your son Michael"

"The Sheriff!"

I vividly recall Bellotti running for governor against John Volpe - when I was just beginning high school! I checked his bio after I arrived at my office to see if my memory was correct; it was. Lt. Governor Bellotti graduated from Tufts University the year that I was born. He is 87 years old - still commuting to work, still keeping his mind fresh by reading, still physically vigorous enough to face the New England winter clad only in his suede jacket. This is a picture of what I would like my life to look like if I attain such an octogenarian stage in life - except I hope to have a book (or a Kindle) in one hand and a tennis racket in the other as I ride the Red Line to my office.

Buon Natale, Governor. Long life to you, and blessings to you and your family.


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